Cardiff University | Prifysgol Caerdydd ORCA
Online Research @ Cardiff 
WelshClear Cookie - decide language by browser settings

The consolations and conflicts of history: Chaucer's Monk's Tale

Gossedge, Rob 2015. The consolations and conflicts of history: Chaucer's Monk's Tale. In: Fannon, Beatrice ed. Medieval English LIterature, New Casebooks, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 95-111.

Full text not available from this repository.

Abstract

Chaucer’s meditations on the recording, rewriting and understanding of history occur in the context of a struggle between the dominant sacred view of history as a providential, divinely superintended plan and an emergent secular historiography that sought its own internal logic of causation for the events of history. While the late medieval historiographical and epistemological struggles are visible in many of Chaucer’s writings — and prominently in the tales of the classical past, Troilus, Anelida and the ‘Knight’s Tale’ — nowhere in Chaucer’s oeuvre is the conflict between sacred and secular models of history dramatized so directly as in the under-appreciated ‘Monk’s Tale’. Its self-conscious staging of divergent historiographical worldviews is most clearly demonstrated in the discord between the text’s form and its speaker. As a series of tragic histories of great men (and a single great woman), it was inspired by Boccaccio’s virulently democratic and anti-monarchist De casibus virorum illustrium (On the Fates of Illustrious Men, 1355–74), a title which serves as the incipit to the ‘Monk’s Tale’ in many manuscripts.

Item Type: Book Section
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: English, Communication and Philosophy
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PR English literature
Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
ISBN: 9781137469595
Last Modified: 11 Mar 2021 15:45
URI: http://orca.cardiff.ac.uk/id/eprint/104247

Actions (repository staff only)

Edit Item Edit Item